1 John 2:7-11
Brothers, I write no new commandment to you, but an old commandment which you had from the beginning…
These words stand between two commandments — that in the sixth verse of the chapter from which my text is taken, to walk as Christ walked, and the commandment of brotherly love contained in verse the ninth. To which of these does the apostle refer here? To both, for in their deepest meaning the two are one. If we walk in the light as Christ walked, then shall we love our brethren, for He loved us and gave Himself for us. Having ascertained what the commandment is, let us consider the two things mentioned concerning it its OLDNESS and its NEWNESS. The law of love is as old as human nature itself. First, the faculty of love belongs to man as man — is part of his nature. Second, man has the sense or feeling that love is right, that it is a duty; and that to hate others, or even to be indifferent to them, is wrong. This is the Divine testimony in man's conscience, a silent commandment which makes itself heard and felt without the use of words. But the precept of love is new as well as old. It was Christ Himself that first called it new. "A new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another."
1. The prominence and oneness which our Lord gave to it made it new.
2. The perfect realisation of the precept of love in the life of Christ was new. It filled His Spirit, possessed His soul, appeared in His words and works, and was made manifest forever in His passion and death. He did justice to love, honoured it, and showed how beautiful, how noble, and how divine a quality it is; and thus the old commandment was arrayed in new glory.
3. The old precept of love has also a new inspiring power, as seen in the life and character of our Lord.
4. Again, Christ made love the symbol or badge of the Christian Church. It is not by any system of theology, forms of worship, learning, or social position that the true Church is known; but by all that is implied in the great word "love" as it is used in the New Testament.
5. There is an undying freshness in love which makes it ever new. Consider the working of love anywhere, and you will find in it a beauty that never fades, a newness that never withers, a fragrance that never departs.
Parallel VersesKJV: Brethren, I write no new commandment unto you, but an old commandment which ye had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word which ye have heard from the beginning.